August 26, 2019

By Faith, Not By Sight - Marnie Pohlmann


I need new spiritual glasses that see in the dark.

I often find myself in black circumstances, struggling with health or relationships or choices, and when I realize I have been stumbling about I am often confounded by where I find myself. My vision has blurred. I squint but can hardly see the shadow of God moving. I try to follow but become distracted, then I stub my big toe on whatever circumstance has befallen me, and the pain shoots through my heart and mind.

In those times, I am not the least bit happy. I begin to complain and whine about my situation. I slip away from God’s footsteps and the path He leads me on, falling into the ditch to wallow in the mud of self-pity.

Yes, I’ve decided I need new spiritual glasses so I can see my way through those ever-present dark times. Not like sunglasses, that shade my eyes from stark reality, but Son-glasses with infra-red lenses that show Christ’s blood awash over my life; God’s fingerprints in, through and over all the situations I find myself in. 

Do you need this sight as well? Do you know where we can get optics like that?

The words of Paul in Romans 12:12 provides a prescription for spiritual glasses that see in the dark.
       "Rejoice in hope,
                      be patient in tribulation,
                                   be constant in prayer."

Like my last prescription for new bifocal lenses, I had difficulty seeing with understanding at first, so I needed to study each word of this verse. My interpretation is this:
            
        Be glad. Delight in God because in God you have placed your trust.
                     Persevere with no complaining, because God is with you even in the struggles.
                                  Continually converse with God because God is worthy of thanks and adoration.

That makes it clear, doesn’t it? You see, it’s all about focus.

I know these spiritual spectacles are not easy to wear even when life is going well, so it’s no surprise that, like bifocals, it may take time to adjust to rejoicing, not complaining, and thanking God during difficult circumstances. The discipline to do so will chafe, especially those places right on top of my nose that are easily seen or just behind the ear that are less obvious to others. I will want to stop what I know is best because I feel the pain and discomfort.

However, I know the more I wear them, the more I will become accustomed to the fit and to the clarity of sight. I believe that as I delight, continue, and faithfully trust God day in and day out, I will be able to wear these spiritual glasses even when I find myself in times of dismay.

This prescription will light up God’s path for me through any circumstance. Focusing on this view will show me all that I have to praise God for. I will see, by faith, that I can trust God to lead me, to hold my hand in the darkness just as He does in the light.

When I refuse to focus on my circumstances but choose instead to capture thoughts of discontent and squish them, like bugs, between Christ’s death on the cross and His rising from the grave, I am delighted, not dismayed. I won’t need to complain to everyone who will listen. Whining is packed away as I look forward with excitement to the adventure God is taking me on. I will quietly discuss with Him all my questions and observances. Step by step I will continue focusing on life with God. His glory lights the way. I do trust He has a good plan for me, despite the difficult trail I have stumbled along. 
When my spiritual eyes focus on God, I cannot help but delight in Him.

I can focus on the hope that salvation provides, and so rejoice.
God holds my future.
I can carry on, step by step, without stopping and without complaining, because I am not alone.
God holds my hand.
I can constantly converse with and adore God, because He shows His love over and over.
God holds my heart.

As I learn to wear these spiritual glasses that focus on God, I may still stub my big toe in the dark, but through faith I will not lose sight of the One who walks with me, holding my hand.

9 comments:

  1. What a wonderful analogy! Thanks - as always!

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  2. Marnie you got me right where I'm at again and so eloquently. I love the phrase, "When I refuse to focus on my circumstances but choose instead to capture thoughts of discontent and squish them, like bugs, between Christ’s death on the cross and His rising from the grave..." I too understand those dark places and just how difficult it can be to reframe my thoughts and at times beliefs. Thank you for always being on spot and real with the subject at hand.

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    1. Gloria, I know you understand this place. I have spent the last couple years unable to "rejoice" in my circumstances, but now I realize I don't need to be excited about the circumstance, I just need to rejoice in God, in the hope of salvation. And that is so easy to do!

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  3. Such a perfect analogy for your post today, Marnie. Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your journey and for sharing this hard-earned recognition to rejoice in Him in hope, in spite of all circumstances. His grace really is sufficient, isn't it? I'm so grateful for it and for your testimony.

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    1. Thank you, Brenda. We often don't realize just how sufficient God's grace is until we are in need of it. I'm so glad there is no place we can go where God is not already there.

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  4. Thanks you, Marnie, for this spiritual “insight.” The Christian walk really is about focus and adjusting our vision. You really nailed this month’s theme. Blessings.

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  5. Marnie, I remember a few years ago when I jokingly told my sisters I needed the rose colored glasses!! I needed to view life with new insight. Thanks for posting this concept with such clarity!!

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